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Bus is right up your street: An update on Bus in Northern Ireland

bus advertising Northern Ireland

It’s no surprise that public transport faced huge challenges throughout the pandemic but with stay at home messages in place, public health and protecting our health service was of paramount importance which in turn saw passenger numbers decline. Government funding ensured essential bus services remained operational for those who needed them and this funding is set to continue to aid recovery post-pandemic and meet returning passenger demand.

Now, with an impressive vaccination programme and most restrictions having eased, we want to update you on bus services in Northern Ireland and give you the confidence to invest in bus advertising once again.

Below you can read a round-up of the journey of bus in Northern Ireland from before the pandemic through to present day. Scroll down to view our handy infographic or download it here. We can't wait to welcome you back to bus!

Bus advertising northern ireland

For context, it’s useful to remind ourselves of how public transport in Northern Ireland was performing pre-pandemic. It’s record breaking performance acts as a benchmark for recovery, but the pre-Covid demand for bus also acts to offer reassurance for a speedy recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Did yo know that pre-pandemic there were record numbers of bus and rail passengers? In fact, Northern Ireland was the only one of four nations in UK where bus usage was actually growing.

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Bus advertising Northern Ireland headers

Throughout the pandemic buses continued to connect people and places, even in time of crisis. Many key workers relied on public transport to get to where they needed to be at the peak of the pandemic, with public transport providing a lifeline of support; it has been there for the people of Northern Ireland at this time of crisis, not only keeping communities moving but offering free travel to NHS and carer staff.

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Bus advertising Northern Ireland headers

Looking at the current situation, it’s one full of positivity and hope. We’re now already seeing passenger demand for services increase beyond that seen in October when restrictions were last eased. Since the start of the year, there has been on an upward trajectory and, as of 28th May 2021, use of public transport in NI was 20% below baseline levels, while activity for the UK overall was 29% below normal levels. For further encouragement and reassurance about the visibility of bus advertising on roads across Northern Ireland, Translink have confirmed full Metro and Glider services and timetables have already resumed, whilst Ulsterbus and inter-urban network timetables will resume fully by end of the Summer inline with schools returning after the holidays.

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Bus advertising Northern Ireland headers

Whilst passenger numbers may take a little longer to return to pre-covid levels, it’s important to note that a return to full service timetables across Northern Ireland’s bus network means buses are highly visible on our roads once again and advertising on the outside of a bus is as effective as ever. With restrictions eased and driving and traffic volumes having increased, walking and pedestrian activity having increased, exposure to bus advertising has also increased. For a copy of our Thinking Outside the Bus research please get in touch. We'd love to share it with you.


bus is up your street

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